Planet Dailies – A Daily Dose of Fun

An A-list of celebrities attended the grand opening of the Planet Dailies last April. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez, and television and radio personality Mario Lopez all attended to sample some of cocktail master Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese’s creative cocktails, and Executive Chef Adrian Tenorio’s enticing dishes.

Larry Fink, vice president of public relations for Celebrity Entertainment, was also there to make sure everyone had a good time. This is the second Planet Dailies to open in the United States; the first opened in Las Vegas when Planet Hollywood took over the former Aladdin Hotel and Casino.

In March 2007, Robert Earl, from Earl Enterprise, had a vision to open a 24-hour diner next to the hotel’s casino. He hired the amiable Chef Tenorio to create an extensive array of ultimate coffee shop food. Dishes are made from scratch and are plentiful. The restaurant became a huge success.

Tenorio was the obvious choice to work with Earl in planning the opening of Planet Dailies in Los Angeles, and the Original Farmers Market is the ideal location for the new farm fresh menu. Tenorio visited every stall in the Market while the restaurant was being built, working with some of his neighbors in providing creative dishes. Tenorio took the Las Vegas menu and ramped up farm fresh and healthier dishes for the Los Angeles clientele.

Tenorio starting cooking at age six while living in Austin, Texas. One morning he stood up and said, “I can’t take this anymore” to his mother, because he didn’t like the eggs she prepared. He got out a frying pan and made his own breakfast. “My brother tells the story better than I do,”  Tenorio said. “I was mad and decided to take the matter into my own hands.”

Finish reading my review by clicking on this link – Courtesy of the Beverly Press. Published on June 28, 2012.

Public School 612

Who is ready to go to summer school? I always enjoy learning. At Public School 612, guests can learn the art of libations and dine on gastropub fare prepared by Executive Chef Dante Ascenzi.

The menu looks like a school composition book; the napkin ring is a paper ruler.

This delightful gastropub, attached to The Daily Grill, is a relative of the Grill concepts’ family: The Grill on the Alley, The Daily Grill and In Short Order Daily Grill. Chef Dante helped create the menu and concept of PS 612.

Happy Hour at PS 612 is called recess. It’s served all day on Sundays and from 4 to 7 p.m. the rest of the week. One can order a gastropub plate for under $6, and all well drinks are $5. A half-liter of wine (approximately three glasses) is $10.

Some of the $2 dishes include a Margherita lavash pizza and a Thai noodle spring roll with roasted peanuts, Napa cabbage, carrots and red bell pepper. A few of the $4 items are Chicago-style dogs and parmesan truffle frites. Splurge for the $6 Asian BBQ chicken and ribs or three cheeseburger sliders with all the fixings.

The extensive bar offers approximately 20 rotating draught beers. There are two dartboards and yearbook pages from various schools adorning the walls. It’s a fun place to hang out in downtown Los Angeles. My favorite part is the classes.

Our first visit was on Cinco de Mayo, when PS 612 offered a Tequila 101 course. Tuition was only $40, and if you paid in advance, PS 612 gave students a $10 card to be used for another visit.

To read the rest of my review, click on this link courtesy of the Beverly Press.

Cafe Pinot’s Newest Executive Chef

I was so excited to experience a dinner prepared by Executive Chef Sydney Hunter III at Café Pinot. The seasoned chef began his career at L’Orangerie in 2002. Some may remember him at Bastide on Melrose. Chef Joachim Splichal, founder of the Patina Restaurant Group, recently gave Hunter the coveted white Executive Chef jacket at Café Pinot.

We were seated on the front patio where a modern fountain provided bubbling brook sounds as the cars on Fifth Street bustled by. The main patio, which  has been voted as one of the loveliest dining patios in Los Angeles, was occupied with a large bar mitzvah party. It’s reserved often for private parties.

Chef Hunter wowed me immediately when a bowl of English pea soup arrived with a generous circle of almond flan on top. The luscious, warm, green liquid was not burdened with cream, but surrounded with dainty pea shoots and a sprinkling of green chive oiland almond flan. Very clever and delicious.

Hunter’s Japanese Hokkaido scallops rested on cauliflower purée with a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds. The tender scallops were adorned with a thin shaving of cauliflower topped with a melding of radish, caviar and daikon sprouts. Ruby-red currants in port wine dazzle this dish.

For entrées, the leek and button mushroom ragout serves as a tender base for the perfectly cooked turbot fish. It’s topped with thinly sliced cauliflower, toasted almonds and an amaretto cherry jus. Hunter sprinkles the dish with cherry spice on top.

Another favorite was the beef tenderloin with al dente asparagus and a decadent potato and celery root gratin with emmental cheese. It tasted similar to a delicate potato and Swiss cheese gratin, yet with a zing of celery root. The succulent maitake mushrooms were a nice touch with the red wine Bordelaise sauce.

Click on this link to read the rest of my review Courtesy of the Beverly Press. Published on June 7, 2012.